I think of a beautiful and green environment, the fresh air from the trees, going to the beach and lastly the most delicious food. This is what the holidays mean to me. But sadly I never went on any holidays. It was very sad having to hear my school friend telling me about their holiday and the exciting experiences they had, while I went nowhere.

I hear my mother calling me and my little sister. “Tsaki! Ntebo! Come here”.

“Am coming,” I responded. Ntebo and I walked faster to hear what they were calling us for.

“Your dad and I have the greatest news for you. We are going on holiday to the Limpopo to visit your relatives in the rural area!” she said. I really did not expect that much disappointment, I don’t like rural areas. My friends told me about the hard works they did in the rural area, there is no electricity, no oceans and no good food. I saw pictures of rural areas and it does not look like a great place for holidays at all!

“No mom. I can’t go to rural areas, it is not beautiful and does not look like fun,” I said. I waited to hear their response and I saw that they were unhappy at what I had said.

“Tsaki my child, everyone there is forward to see you,” my mom said.

“Maybe some other time became now I can’t go, I’d rather stay alone,” I replied.

I was pissed off. I looked at my dad hoping that he would come up with a good decision.

“I won’t allow you to stay in this house alone, you’re only 15! You can join your uncle’s family on their holidays to Durban,” he said.

“Yes! Yes! Yes!” I was extremely excited. This was the kind of holiday I have been dreaming about.
I felt weird after my parents and sister left me at my uncle Reti’s home in Soweto. I had a lot on my mind. I thought about how I missed them. I was glad that I didn’t go, but I also wished that I went with them. Thabo and I started playing TV games and I forgot all regrets and everything. My uncle’s wife, Mrs Maye walked into the room and announced that dinner was ready and we had to come get it before it got cold. Afterwards, Thabo’s younger sister sang us one of her preschool songs, then we went to sleep. I couldn’t sleep peacefully because my family were the only thing on my mind.

***

The day I had been waiting for finally arrived and we were in the car. I still couldn’t believe that it was happening. “I am going to Durban!” I wrote this on my WhatsApp status. And within a few minutes I got texts from friends wishing me the best. I felt really tired and couldn’t believe that Durban was that far. From the buildings I could see, I believed that we had arrived in Durban. “Yah, now we are at the city of Durban,” uncle said.

From the city we went to the place I had dreamed about. The fresh air, beautiful houses and green environment. I could hardly hear a sound, this place was so peaceful and I wished that I lived there. It was quiet and I couldn’t see any people in the streets or any cars. Then I saw three young men coming from my right, they were wearing black clothes and their faces were covered like thugs.

I couldn’t believe that they just pointed a gun at us. I felt my heart beating faster and faster out of fear. I looked at the others and they also seemed to be scared. My uncle stopped the car and waited. One of them said,

“All of you get out of this car now.”

My uncle then replied by asking, “What do you want?”

The thug said, “I said get out of this car, do you want to die?”

So, we got out of the car with our hands in the air. Pretty was crying so badly. These thugs told Mrs Maye to make her stop or they would kill us, poor child. They then searched us one by one; they took my phone as well. I could see the anger in my uncle’s face when they searched him and took everything. They got into the car and left us there in sadness.

We were left with nothing, only the clothes we were wearing and it was getting dark. Mrs Maye asked my uncle what they were going to do now. My uncle said we must ask for help from the people in that suburb, and for them to call the police. We saw two young men walking to a house down the street, they saw us, but they didn’t bother to help us.

We moved down the street to a house that my uncle felt confident with asking for help from. It was less fancy but still it was beautiful. We got to the gate and a huge dog, which looked like a lion, came running straight at us. It tried jumping over the gate, but failed. We walked off very fast in fear. Then my uncle said that we shouldn’t run because it would make the dog angry.

A beautiful car arrived by the gate in front of us, it was driven by an old man. My uncle did not want to ask him for help because he thought that the man seemed rude. But, my aunt, convinced him to ask for help. The man was a very kind old man, he said, that it would take days to get the car back and offered to take us back to Soweto.

I will never again judge a book by its cover!